ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY COVID-19

The City of Springfield’s Office of Planning & Economic Development, along with other area organizations, are available to help you and your business navigate through this pandemic. Below is a list of resources and information that is updated daily. If you have questions or need advice which organization to speak with, please call our office at 217.789.2377.

To return to the City of Springfield’s main COVID-19 information page, click here.


  Central Region Moves to Phase 3: May 29

The State of Illinois released guidelines for moving to Phase 3, which will occur for our Central Region on Friday, May 29. View the guidelines for various industries here.

You can also download the Business Toolkit which includes signage, training checklists, and other resources to help business owners and workers implement safety procedures and precautions aligned with public health standards.

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has released a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ). You may also find additional information on their website.

City of Springfield Supplemental Guide

The City of Springfield has created a Supplemental Guide to the State of Illinois’ Toolkit to assist bars and restaurants with opening their outdoor areas. As a reminder, Phase 3 restricts group size to six individuals, including children, at tables. For questions on the Supplemental Guide, please contact the City’s Building & Zoning at 217.789.2171.

  Resources from Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce has created a guide for reopening your business as a tool to assist you along the way.

The Chamber has also compiled a list of resources where members can purchase personal protective equipment and other items recommended to ensure the safety of your employees and customers. We continue to update this list as information becomes available. Click here for more information.

  Face Coverings Requirement - May 1

Beginning on May 1, individuals are required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can't maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

For question about this new order or best practices or recommendations about operating your business during COVID-19, please contact the Springfield Fire Department’s Fire Safety Division at 217.789.2170.

Download and print a sign for your store that is an essential business.

Download and print a sign for your essential business that is not a store.

Download and print social distancing policies for employers.

  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - UPDATE

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program beginning Monday, May 11.

  • Apply for regular unemployment before you apply for PUA.
  • If you applied for regular unemployment and have been denied between April 1, 2019 and today, do not reapply.
  • Go into your regular unemployment account and set up direct deposit for payment.
  • Have your 2019 tax return or proof of income ready and available.
  • Be prepared to certify.
  • Remember: You must submit a new application for PUA. The two systems are not transferrable.
  • A guide can be downloaded here.

  Paycheck Protection Program - UPDATE

The initial $350 billion set aside for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was exhausted as of April 16 and resumes April 27. Lawmakers approved an additional $310 billion for the PPP. If you are unsure whether or not you were approved in the first round of PPP lending, check with your lender.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities.

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

For a listing of local lenders who can assist you through the application process, click here.

  Small Business Relief Grants

Small Business Relief Grants are part of LISC’s Rapid Relief & Recovery Fund programs to help business with immediate financial impact due to the pandemic.

  • Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply.
  • For business owners with multiple businesses, please complete this application based on your largest business owned.
  • Each grant is limited to one grant per individual and business tax ID.
  • Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission.
  • Priority will be given to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
  • All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Non-profit organizations are ineligible for this funding

The application period is now open. Click here to apply. Your application must be completed by Tuesday, April 28, 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

  Save Small Business Fund

The Save Small Business Fund is a grant-making initiative offering short-term relief for small employers. The fund will make $5,000 grants to small businesses (3-20 employees) that have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. A short application will go live on April 20, 2020, here.

  SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

This program is NO LONGER accepting applications.

Two days after submitting documentation demonstrating the impact of COVID-19 on more than 3,000 businesses across the state, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Illinois' eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all 102 counties due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans online here.

  Springfield Business Registration

Springfield businesses are encouraged to register with www.springfieldzoom.com so consumers can find out the status of their favorite local businesses and their services in one, easily searchable, website. Registration is free and easy.

  Local Business Relief

Restaurants Allowed Alcohol Sales

As the City of Springfield Liquor Commissioner, Mayor Langfelder signed an order that will allow a package of unopened alcohol with takeout food orders. This order will benefit over 130 restaurants. Click here to read the Order.

  Justine Petersen COVID-19 Relief Program

Justine Petersen is offering low interest small business loans to Illinois businesses impacted by this current pandemic. Maximum loan size is $50,000, with an interest rate of 3% amortized over 5 years. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital or to address other costs incurred during, or as a result of, the Covid-19 crisis. For more information, contact JP staffer Galen Gondolfi at ggondolfi@justinepetersen.org or call 314.565.2223.

  Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will use the $2.5 million Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Grant funds can be used for paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors and other immediate operational costs.

Each application will be scored by the responses given to each question. All applications that score at or above the pre-determined threshold will be placed into a lottery for selection. Notifications will be made on April 14 and then a second round of funding will kick off that same day. Applicants meeting the threshold but not selected in round 1 will automatically be placed in the lottery for round 2.

Apply today.

  Illinois Humanities Emergency Relief Grants

The Illinois Humanities Emergency Relief Grants are focused for nonprofit cultural and humanities-oriented organizations with annual budgets of $300,000 or less and are located in places within Illinois other than Chicago. The total budget for this program is $60,000. A total of 24 grants will be awarded. Complete information and the application form can be found online here.

  Small Business COVID Relief Program

This new program was introduced by Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. The Program is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer would make up to $500 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this funding is to provide vital economic support to small businesses and non-profits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing. Click here to find out more.

  DCEO Emergency Assistance Programs

UPDATE: DCEO introduced an emergency loan fund that opened on March 30, 2020. It is asked that applicants who applied prior to that date “reapply” in the streamlined loan portal with the promise that they would not lose their place in the queue of applications received. The applicants would have applied either through the original electronic loan application or the box.com process where they uploaded .pdf application forms and would have an application number starting with a “2”.

The purpose of this request was that the new streamlined process offers much more efficient underwriting and disbursement and would get the funds in the hands of those approved for loans more quickly.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

A $14 million grant program supporting working capital as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operation. Eligible applicants include bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019 and hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels, other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.

 Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less. Only units of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale are eligible to apply for Economic Development grant funding. This includes cities, villages, and counties. Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives "entitlement" funds.

  Main Street Lending Program

The program is to assist small and mid-sized businesses with the purchase of up to $600 billion in loans. The Department of the Treasury, using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will provide $75 billion in equity to the facility.

The Main Street Lending Program will enhance support for small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the crisis. The program:

  • Offers 4-year loans to companies employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion in 2019 annual revenues.
  • Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year.
  • Eligible banks may originate new Main Street loans or use Main Street loans to increase the size of existing loans to businesses.
  • Banks will retain a 5 percent share, selling the remaining 95 percent to the Main Street facility, which will purchase up to $600 billion of loans.
  • Minimum loan size of $1m.
  • Maximum loan size that is the lesser of (i) $150 million, (ii) 30% of the Eligible Borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn bank debt, or (iii) an amount that, when added to the Eligible Borrower’s existing outstanding and committed but undrawn debt, does not exceed six times the Eligible Borrower’s 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”);
  • Firms seeking Main Street loans must commit to make reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain workers.
  • Borrowers must also follow compensation, stock repurchase, and dividend restrictions that apply to direct loan programs under the CARES Act.
  • Firms that have taken advantage of the PPP may also take out Main Street loans.
  • Must be a business created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States with significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States.
  • Eligible Borrowers that participate in the Facility may not also participate in the MSNLF or the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility.
  • Prepayment permitted without penalty.

Public comments on the Main Street Lending program feedback form may be provided until April 16.

  Federal CARES Act

The City of Springfield is closely following the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act is a document that has been created to help small business owners understand this bill better. Click here to read this guide.

  Government Updates

Illinois’ COVID-19 Website

The State of Illinois launched a website focused on COVID-19 , which includes the latest news, prevention along with resources for individuals and businesses. The public is asked to check the site regularly for updates.

U.S. Legislation

The President signed HR6201 on March 18. Division C highlights the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. To review the full the bill, click here.

Governor Announcements

  Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers Tax Credits

As a follow-up to the federal government’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act, IR-2020-57 was introduced regarding Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Businesses. If your business is looking at the possibility of laying off employees, this provision should be examined in conjunction with Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order issued on Friday, March 20.

  COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. For more information please visit their website.

Please note: if you file an Unemployment Insurance claim on or after July 17, 2016 and you are subject to the registration requirement, you must complete your registration immediately through www.IllinoisJobLink.com.

Your Unemployment Insurance benefits will not be paid until your registration is complete. CLICK HERE to apply.

  Support for Employees

  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security has published Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and unemployment benefits on their website. Read more of their helpful information here.
  • The Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries is offering phone appointments for area employees who are off of work because of COVID-19. For more information, click here.
  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

  Local Banks

Though it is not a government program, talking to your current bank is recommended if you are having any problems or anticipate any problems. As new programs become available, we will coordinate and send the information out. Most banks will handle concerns on a case by case basis. We spoke to almost all of our local and national lending institutions and they are all willing and ready to help.

  Advice for Business Owners

What Is Considered An “Essential Business”?

There are various resources available to business owners as they navigate through COVID-19. Following are helpful guides and resources available on the internet.

  Tourism-Related Updates

For local and state tourism related updates related to COVID-19, visit our Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau website.